Impact of Robots on CS1 retention: Mixed but promising

July 20, 2010 at 11:10 am Leave a comment

This blog post at Technology Review caught my eye. The post itself is disappointing.  They make claims (like the below) that are NOT made by the paper.  The figure is right, but the claim is too strong.

The paper actually does a really good job of making the claim carefully.  ONE of the semesters where they used the robots had a dramatic rise in retention rates, but not another. Comparing the study YEAR to previous years doesn’t show a significant difference in retention rate.  However, that one semester is promising and well worth continued exploration.

The results were profound: retention rates for the 2009 computer science classes in which the Finch was used shown below, in red increased by 25 percent.

via Technology Review: Blogs: Guest Blog: Robots Make Computer Science Fun Again.

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